By Consumers for Quality Care, on January 18, 2018
Comedian Samantha Bee recently highlighted how American hospitals are failing on maternity care. In the segment, Bee focused on a number of stories that examine how the U.S. has the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world. A 2015 statistic found that American women die in childbirth at twice the rate of women in Saudi Arabia and three times the rate of women in the United Kingdom. All this, despite the U.S. spending the most money, per-capita, on maternity care in the world.
The issue of failing maternity care is especially severe in rural areas, where women are dying at a rate 64 percent higher than women in urban areas. In 2014, over half of rural counties lacked hospitals with obstetric services, up from 45 percent a decade earlier. States like Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia have all been impacted by rural hospital closures.
These closures have put many rural women in danger, making it necessary for them to travel long distances to receive adequate care. Bee recounted the story of Whitney Brown, who died after waiting 3 hours to be transported 90 minutes to the closest hospital with trauma and maternity care after suffering seizures during delivery.